Utah State Auditor: Opportunities for Financial Benefit Using High Deductible Medical Plans [UPH Wire]

*For Immediate Release*
January 12, 2016

*Office of the Utah State Auditor Releases Analysis Report Opportunities
for Financial Benefit Using High Deductible Medical Plans: Analysis of
State Employees’ Medical Costs for Fiscal Year 2015*
*Employees could have saved $20 million with higher deductible plans*

*Salt Lake City, UTAH –*

The Office of the Utah State Auditor (Office) today released *Opportunities
for Financial Benefit Using High Deductible Medical Plans: Analysis of
State Employees’ Medical Costs for Fiscal Year 2015*. The Office worked
with PEHP actuaries to recalculate the costs employees would have paid
utilizing the same health care services had they moved to a higher
deductible health plan in fiscal year 2015 (FY2015). A large percentage,
96% of benefited State of Utah employees, collectively could have saved $20
million by switching to higher deductible health plans while still
receiving the same medical care.

The bulk of the $20 million in savings that might have been realized by
certain members comes from reduced premiums and the collection of
contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for those who qualify. The
members who likely would not have realized savings by switching to higher
deductible health plans would be some members with high prescription drug
costs, some members who reached out-of-pocket maximums, and some members
with high medical costs for an individual on a double or family plan, or
some combination of these factors.

The report further identifies three recommendations that can help
employees, and potentially PEHP, save money by making it easier for
employees to select the higher deductible options.
1. 1) Create HSA-equivalent options for members who do not qualify for
HSA accounts under federal rules.
2. 2) Align plan designs so that the STAR plan always results in a
better financial outcome than the Traditional plan.
3. 3) Target the Basic plan to low-risk employees or employees who are
more risk tolerant.
The full analysis report may be found on the Office’s website,
auditor.utah.gov , specifically at
financialreports.utah.gov/saoreports/2015/AR16-01BenefitsofPEHPHighDeductiblePlansPublicEmployeesHealthProgram.pdf
.

*About the Office of the Utah State Auditor*
The Office of the Utah State Auditor provides Utah taxpayers and government
officials with an independent assessment of financial operation, statutory
compliance, and performance management for state and local government.

Specific activities of the Office include performing financial audits,
conducting Federal funds compliance audits, providing local government
oversight, conducting agency and program performance audits, performing
fraud and compliance audits, and operating the State Auditor Hotline for
citizens to report suspected financial issues or improprieties. These
capabilities strengthen Utah State Government and help taxpayers have
confidence in the integrity of Utah’s government agencies.

The Utah State Auditor is a Constitutional Officer of the State of Utah,
elected directly by the state’s citizens every four years. The role of the
Utah State Auditor is authorized in Article VII, Section 15 of the Utah
Constitution. For more information, see auditor.utah.gov.

*Contact:*
Nicole Toomey Davis
Public Information Officer
Office of the Utah State Auditor
801-678-4835
ndavis@utah.gov

pdf icon News-Release-Office-of-the-Utah-State-Auditor-Opportunities-for-Financial-Benefit-Using-High-Deductible-Health-Plans.pdf

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